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Chapter 20 - Sleepiness in the military: operational implications and research imperatives

from Section 2 - Sleep Disorders and Excessive Sleepiness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2011

Michael J. Thorpy
Affiliation:
Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA
Michel Billiard
Affiliation:
Guide Chauliac Hospital, Montpellier, France
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Summary

The challenge for any ancient military strategist who wanted to deprive his enemy of sleep would have been figuring out how to do so without exacting a comparable toll on his own troops. In this context, there is probably no better example of a strategy that achieved such an outcome than that employed by Alexander the Great at the Battle of Gaugamela. This chapter illustrates the manner in which sleep/sleepiness has remained a militarily relevant factor in modern times. This is best highlighted by the presumed military strategy of the former USSR/Warsaw Pact nations during the Cold War. Military sleep researchers have mostly been dedicated to performing studies with an ultimate aim of sustaining the military effectiveness (ability to perform those tasks required to successfully achieve mission objectives) of sleepy soldiers. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is a comprehensive sleep/performance management system (SPMS).
Type
Chapter
Information
Sleepiness
Causes, Consequences and Treatment
, pp. 215 - 224
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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